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About IPlayWithString

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Little Elm, TX
  • Interests
    reading, knitting, crocheting
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Western Caribbean

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  1. IPlayWithString

    upper pullman

    Or if one of y'all doesn't mind sleeping on the sofa, the kids can sleep in the bed with whoever's sharing the bed with them and the other person gets the sofa. That's what we typically do...DH and DS share the bed and I sleep on the sofa and it's cool. 🙂
  2. IPlayWithString

    VIFP program

    Yup. There is one hotel chain we frequent when we travel and one in particular that we always stay at when we drive to Galveston (our home port, about 5-6 hrs from where we live in north Texas) that has rewarded us with all kinds of little perks because we stay with them. We've gotten a "balcony" room (it was a triangle of concrete barely big enough for one person to stand on, and that's if you're my son's size--he weighs maybe 110 lbs soaking wet. LOL) for the same price as the dirt cheap dive motel room that's probably infested with bed bugs down the road. Which for a major hotel chain ain't bad. We've been granted access to the VIP continental breakfast (which my son loved, because we allowed him to have a Dr. Pepper with breakfast, which we were like, Eh we're on vacation. It won't kill him.) just because, since normally you have to be paying for a grand suite (or whatever their most expensive fancy pants rooms are called) to get that perk. Even my local 7-11 will give me every 7th drink free and a free drink with every 800 rewards points. They should do more to entice cruisers to remain sailing with them and up the ante on their rewards, but they don't. Rewards is ONE of the reasons we sail with Carnival..but not the only one. For us, it's as cheap (if not cheaper, actually, when you factor in a week in a hotel, food, tickets to parks or other attractions, etc etc) as the land based vacations we've taken in the past. I personally also like that it's easier for us to make it where one of us is with our autistic son all the time and if when the other needs a break (because let's face it, dealing with a moody NORMAL teenager at the best of times is difficult. Dealing with a moody, grumpy autistic teen takes it to a whole different level), we can do that more easily than at say, Disney World. If my son needs a break because he's getting overwhelmed with the noise, lights, etc (easy to do when you have sensory issues), then we can take him to the library or to play shuffleboard (which he's kind of addicted to. LOL) in the Red Frog Pub or back to the room to watch cable TV (we don't have cable at home so this is a treat) if he wants. We have been treated like we actually matter with Carnival, unlike land based vacations where you're simply another number that nobody gives a crap about. We deserve the loyalty perks we've earned and I don't want to see them yanked out fro under us to where we have to start over with another cruise line. That would be disenheartening at best and frustrating as well.
  3. IPlayWithString

    VIFP program

    I have to disagree with this...they should give golds more benefits as well as keep the current benefits for platinums or even give them more benefits. Why would you want to keep coming back again and again if you weren't getting benefits for it? We had JUST turned gold when they yanked the past guest party out from under us and I was seriously annoyed. If they start cutting benefits for platinums, I (and probably my DH) will be blowing up customer svc's inbox and voice mail with complaints about it. We worked hard and spent a crapton of money to become platinum and to have the few benefits we DO get yanked out from under us when we only recently became platinum (as of last summer) is just *bleeping* *bleep* *bleep bleep bleep* unfair. Should they add a level BETWEEN gold and platinum and between platinum and diamond? Probably. But if you start yanking the few benefits we get as platinums out from under us, it's not fair. It's not fair to the people who are just about to become platinum with their next trip after years spent working towards that goal. We're fortunate...we are able to take usually 2-3 cruises a year so we reached platinum fairly quickly (about 5 years). Not everybody who sails is that lucky...maybe they only get to take one cruise a year. So it takes them a decade (maybe) to earn that platinum level. And to yank it away from them just as they're about to reach it is cruel.
  4. IPlayWithString

    Ports Missed the Most

  5. IPlayWithString

    Ports Missed the Most

    That happened to us in Belize one time...we could see NCL (or maybe it was RCCL? I forget) tendering people out but for whatever reason, we couldn't. We were bummed, of course, because it was a beautiful day. But we ended up having just as much fun watching people absolutely lose their minds at guest services. One woman stood there for a good half hour at least and when she didn't get what she wanted, she whipped out her phone and paced around the atrium lobby for a good half hour at least yelling at somebody at corp on the phone. There was also a guy who was absolutely in tears because we were missing Belize...he had flown in family from other parts of South America to watch him propose to his girlfriend. Oops. Watching people lose their *bleep* over stuff they can't control while slightly intoxicated (I'm a cheap drunk) is funnier than dirt.
  6. IPlayWithString

    Ports Missed the Most

    For us for whatever reason, the port we end up missing the most has always been Belize. Not that we care...we're fine with missing it. Sitting in the atrium lobby with a nice adult beverage watching people absolutely LOSE THEIR MINDS over missing a port is always fun, though.
  7. IPlayWithString


    Do you think that they'll still have the blankets in March when we cruise during Spring Break? Because lord knows I've only got 84,000 freaking blankets around here and we seem to acquire at least 3 new Mexican blankets every time we go to Cozumel somehow but I still want one of the Carnival ones if that's what we end up getting.😄
  8. IPlayWithString

    Platinum Boarding Question

    From what I've seen...no matter what the boarding time, people show up and mob the place anyway in Galveston. IDK why...you're not even allowed in the terminal and you'd have to stand out in the heat and that's not fun.
  9. IPlayWithString

    Free style dining

    We do YTD as opposed to early seating because we're more likely to get a table for just the three of us instead of having to sit with strangers. We don't MIND meeting new people, but meal time is stressful enough (because of my son's issues) without having a bunch of people staring at us.
  10. IPlayWithString

    T Rex Costume

    Oh FFS...T-Rex costumes have been done to death and it's not appropriate unless it's a Mardi Gras, Halloween or other special cruise where lots of people will be wearing costumes of some sort. It's not cute anymore (not that it was ever that cute to begin with) and it's just obnoxious. Thank you SO MUCH Instagram for another stupid trend. 😕
  11. IPlayWithString

    First Time Cruiser - A few questions

    Actually...with bee stings you're suppose to take a credit card (or other similar card, S&S card would've worked probably) and scrape it sideways until the stinger comes out. Pulling it out with tweezers can cause more venom to inject into the wound. https://www.aad.org/public/skin-hair-nails/injured-skin/bug-bites-and-stings/how-to-treat-a-bee-sting
  12. IPlayWithString

    Cruiseing with a Toddler with autism

    It found me. 🙂 You can either keep responding here or go to my blog (which is in my signature below) and drop me a note. 🙂 No worries. I've been doing the whole "take your autistic child on vacation to places that are definitely absolutely 10000% triggering because of reasons" thing since he was 4 and we took him to Disney World. 😄 I'm kind of like Tyrion Lannister at this point...I drink (coffee) and I know things. That's what I do.
  13. IPlayWithString

    First Time Cruiser - A few questions

    Hi. 🙂 Welcome to the wonderfully addicting world of cruising. When we cruise, we take the equivalent of a full medicine cabinet with us in a couple of gallon size Ziploc bags because it's cheaper than going to the ship's doctor if something minor happens. This is a list of what we generally take: 1. A new box of Band-Aids where they have various sizes in a single box (I also usually keep some regular finger-sized ones in a small first aid kit in my purse.) 2. Motion sickness medication 3. Zantac or another acid-reducing pill 4. Mylanta 5. Peptobismol 6. Allergy medications in both pill form (for DH and I) and liquid form (for our autistic son who can't swallow pills) 7. A 7-day pill keeper with my personal meds that I have to take each day 8. Small tube of antibiotic ointment (Neosporin or generic equivalent) 9. Small tube of Benedryl cream (again..just in case we rub up against something that makes us have allergic reactions.) 10. A couple of 4X4 squares of gauze (because you never know) 11. Toothpaste 12. NEW tooth brushes (so we can just toss them on the last day) 13. Extra hair ties (for me...I go through a lot of them since I have super thick hair and they tend to break after a half dozen uses. Boo.) 14. Cologne bottle wrapped in a sock (to help avoid breakage) 15. Deodorant 16. Sunscreen 17. After-Sun aloe gel with lidocaine (super important if you've gotten sunburned) 18. Aspirin, ibuprofen AND Aleve (because I can't take aspirin, but DH can. We also get liquid ibuprofen for my son because he can't swallow pills. And because I have fibromyalgia, sometimes I need Aleve to deal with the aches and pains that for whatever reason, my daily pain control meds just aren't enough for) 19. Disposable razors and/or extra blades if you have a Gillette type razor with the disposable heads 20. Travel size bottle of your shampoo, conditioner and body wash from home. They have dispensers in the shower with both shampoo and body wash...but they suck. 21. Travel size bottle of body lotion. I know it sounds like a lot, but you're gonna wish you had it if something minor happens. You also don't want to have to pay ship's prices (which are outrageous) if you need something relatively inexpensive like acid reducers, Pepto, etc.
  14. IPlayWithString

    Cruiseing with a Toddler with autism

    Hi Trinity4evr! I'm also the mom of an autistic kiddo (he's almost 15) and I would definitely call Carnival (or your TA) and make sure you're on the list to attend the special needs safety briefing as opposed to the regular safety briefing. It's a bit quieter and usually held indoors (the ones we've attended were either in the library, one of the clubs or in a dining room) and much easier for kiddos to deal with. If he uses sound reducing headphones, make sure to bring them with you. 🙂 Also, if he has any special food needs, don't hesitate to talk to the maitre' d on day 1 (embarkation day) to help get those sorted out. One of the reasons we love cruising with Carnival is that it's very easy for us to switch off so that both of us don't have to be with our son (and each other because honestly? There's only so much family togetherness we can stand, yanno? 😄 )all the time. We coordinate our schedules for the day using the daily FunTimes, so we can figure out what activities we want to go do that day and when. Please don't hesitate to PM me or even stop by my blog (the link is in my signature below). I'd be happy to help in whatever way I can, because us special needs mamas gotta stick together, yanno? A fair wind and a following sea to you.